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Media Binge #9 – My Summer Reading List

I haven’t finished a book in months. It’s a problem. I start a book, get really into it, then put it down for a few days. Instead of picking it back up, another book seems to keep catching my eye. And then the cycle repeats, and now I find myself in various states of progress with eight different books.

I’m going to finish them all this summer. I will. Starting right after I tell you what they are.

1. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

This is my first Atwood experience and so far, it is great. (Of all these books, I’ve made the most progress with this one – I’m about two-thirds of the way through). I saw the author speak at the Tools of Change conference back in February and fell in love with her. You can see her entire keynote speech, including her amazing drawings/slidedeck here. It’s a must for anyone in publishing. I stumbled upon this book in the basement of my apartment building – we have a little lending library down there – and was going to hold off reading this until after reading Handmaid’s Tale, but then I saw that it got picked for the twitter book club so it jumped to the top of the pile. (more on 1book140 here) Now I better finish before the month is over!

(Amazon)(Goodreads)

2. Unfamiliar Fishes – Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell is my favorite nonfiction author. She is a truly unique voice and her books combine semi-obscure American history with a fantastic pop culture sensibility. She can make even the most dry sounding topics (like New England Puritan settlers in her last book, “The Wordy Shipmates”) fascinating and fun. I came to her first as an This American Life contributor, so it helps that I hear her voice as I read. You can listen to a couple of her essays here. This new book details the role of American missionaries in the colonization/annexation of Hawaii.

(Amazon)(Goodreads)

3. Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories – Mike Birbiglia

I got blitzed by the Mike Birbiglia promo train about his book. It seemed like he was on every podcast I listened to – Nerdist, This American Life, The Moth, etc. My friend Tracey raved about him. So I sat down and listened to some of his comedy, including the book’s titular story about the comic’s sever sleepwalking disorder that led him to jump of the window of the La Quinta Inn in Walla Walla Washington. I ended up buying the book for my sister for Christmas. She read it, loved it, and lent it to me. (Best kind of present!) Want an idea about the kind of hilarious personal stories Birbiglia shares in his book? Check out an animated version of “I’m a Bear, etc” on Youtube.

(Amazon)(Goodreads)

4. Erekos – A.M. Tuomala

This book takes the prize for “book on this list I’ve been reading for the most time”. I think I started it in February. It has nothing to do with the book – the book is really really good so far. It’s really cool mythic fantasy. It’s also an e-book. The first e-book I have ever bought, and I’m having trouble abandoning paper. Don’t bring up the fact that I make e-books for a living. I know that I’m a hypocrite. I’ve been trying to read it on my iPhone during my commute, but those pesky Angry Birds keep getting in the way of quality literature time. (for more about Erekos, check out Candlemark & Gleam’s website)

5. Hickey of the Beast – Isabel Kunkle

It’s not my fault I’m not finished this one! This is another Candlemark & Gleam release – and it is being released as a serialized e book. (I won a subscription with my banana of the beast tattoo as chronicled here) The book will be thirty chapters, and chapter sixteen just released. I’ll admit, paranormal YA isn’t really my thing, but I’ve heard good things about it and I’m a sucker for weekly cliffhangers. (For more on HotB, check out the C&G website)

6. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larrson

I tore through the 1st two books earlier this year when I was doing a lot of traveling, but haven’t had a chance to get very far into the third book of the Millennium trilogy. Then the teaser for David Fincher’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo hit the web (see it here and wonder like me why you can’t buy that amazing cover of “Immigrant Song” yet) and I picked the book back up. This will be a good one to work on during my flights to/from Portugal in July.

(Amazon)(Goodreads)

7. Andromeda Klein – Frank Portman

This another YA book I’m reading right now. I picked it up at the local library book sale because I liked the cover and jacket (yes, I judge books by their cover and you should too) and  because Andromeda reminded me of one of my favorite Christopher Moore character’s – “You Suck” and “Bite Me’s” Abby Normal. We will see if this becomes another “occult classic”. Sorry for the bad pun. Who am I kidding? No I’m not.

(Amazon)(Goodreads)

8. Something Rotten – Jasper Fforde

This one barely counts. I bought a copy at library book sale and started reading it, but quickly realized two important things: A. I had 7 other books I was in the middle of at that moment, and B. I couldn’t remember how the last book ended (this is the fourth book in Fforde’s Thursday Next series). I’ll get back to this one as soon as I read the cliff-notes/Wikipedia entry for the third book to refresh my memory.

(Amazon)(Goodreads)

Now off to read them all. Wait, what is that cool looking spine on my bookshelf? Maybe I will start that one instead…

You can check out my progress on Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/dwainsmith

Posted in Books, Media Binge

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